Bo Xilai accuses chief prosecution witness of having affair with wife

Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:37 AM

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai's trial ended Monday with Bo and prosecutors trading barbs and accusations.

Bo accused the government's key witness of being in love with his wife and prosecutors called for a harsh sentence because Bo recanted his confession, the Los Angeles times reported.

"He [Bo] doesn't meet the standards for a reduced sentence, so should be punished severely in accordance with the law," a transcript of the prosecutor's arguments indicated.

Bo, the 64-year-old one-time contender for the Chinese leadership, attempted to discredit Wang Lijun, accusing him of courting Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, the transcript said.

The two were as "close as glue and paint," Bo said, using a Chinese euphemism for a romantic attachment. Bo also charged that Wang, a former vice mayor and police chief of Chongqing, tried to defect to the United States in 2012 because Bo learned of the liaison.

"He hurt my family. He hurt my feelings," Bo said.

Charges against Bo, a senior Chinese politician who was considered an up-an-comer, include bribery, abuse of power and embezzlement. He also is charged with covering up the murder of Neil Heywood, a British man who had managed real estate for his wife. Gu confessed last year to poisoning Heywood and is serving a suspended death sentence, essentially life in prison.

Until his court appearance, Bo, a former member of the country's top-ruling Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist party's Central Committee and former party chief of Chongqing province, had not been seen in public and has remained in jail since being arrested in March 2012.

China's official news media Monday maintained its barrage of criticism against Bo and praise for the openness of the trial conducted amid tight security in Jinan, 250 miles south of Beijing.

Redacted transcripts of the proceedings have been released through the court's microblog, the Times said.

Britain's Guardian quoted analysts watching the trial as saying they believe Bo will be found guilty and sentenced to at least 10 years in prison. They say verdicts in most politically sensitive cases are decided well in advance.

Bo's downfall began last year following a series of scandals that included his wife being implicated in the killing of Heywood.

Bo was expelled from the party and removed from public office as accusations against him piled up.

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